To gauge the success of conservation efforts as well as to have a finger on the pulse of tiger populations and their ecosystems, the National Tiger Conservation Authority in collaboration with the State Forest Departments, National Conservation NGO’s, and the Wildlife Institute of India conducts a National assessment for the “Status of Tigers, Co-predators, Prey and their Habitat” every four years. The methodology used for this assessment was approved by the Tiger Task Force in 2005. The first assessment based on this scientific methodology was done in 2006 and subsequently in 2010. In 2006, the tiger population was estimated at 1,411 (1,165 to 1,657) which was much lower than the earlier official estimates. This brought about major changes in tiger conservation policy, legislation, and management. Subsequently, these concerted actions resulted in an upward trend in the tiger population as documented by the 2010 population estimates of 1,706 (1,520 to 1,909). However, the 2010 assessment also showed a decline in tiger occupied area. This decline in tiger occupancy was recorded in areas outside of tiger reserves, indicating loss of habitat quality and extent – a crucial element essential for maintaining genetic connectivity between individual tiger populations. To address this vital conservation concern, the NTCA in collaboration with the WII delineated the minimal tiger habitat corridors connecting tiger reserves for implementing landscape scale tiger conservation. Now all tiger reserves manage their tiger populations based on a tiger conservation plan (TCP), which addresses specific prescriptions for core, buffer, and corridor habitats. Herein, we report the summary results of the tiger status assessment done for 2014.
Y. V. Jhala, Q. Qureshi, and R. Gopal (eds) 2015. The status of tigers in India 2014. National Tiger Conservation Authority, New Delhi & The Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.